Yesterday I was biking in the canyon and the afternoon light coming through the pines seemed like a gift - an extravagant gift on such a chilly, snow-dusted November day. This time of year the sunlight doesn't reach parts of the canyon until late in the day. The single shaft of light was so subtly beautiful that it was almost heartbreaking. But maybe it was just my mood.
I ride and hike this trail in every season and never tire of it. The shadows are different depending on the time of day and of course, the plants and flowers change with the seasons and so there's always something new. There is a peace and comfort in knowing a place this well. And since I usually mountain bike it, I sometimes feel like I could ride it blind, like the Jedi force ~ bumping my way down it from sheer memory. Groove and flow.
The trail is a steady and steep uphill climb to a meadow. Yesterday I wanted to make it to the meadow where I knew I'd be flooded with light and rewarded with a beautiful view. But the snow got deeper the higher I climbed and turned to a sugary consistency - I couldn't get traction. I had to turn around just before the meadow, I was out of steam to push my bike the rest of the way. But here is the reward - I pointed my bike downhill and let 'er go. First without any regard for the skiff of snow until I had one scary skid that made my legs shake. I stopped to put on a jacket and my chin bar and rode the rest of it a little slower. But still on the edge of control, letting it rip on the bare dirt, careening over the rocks, popping over obstacles and feeling every molecule of my being entirely alive and in the moment. When I got back to my truck at the trailhead the sun was low enough in the sky to hit me full on and I finally warmed up, hot tea with honey, sitting on the tailgate of my truck -- and feeling like the luckiest person in the world.